Funds

Historic South Side Chicago Publisher Raises Funds Following Devastating Flood – NBC Chicago

A publisher on Chicago’s South Side is facing tens of thousands of dollars in damage following a devastating flood.

Days before Christmas, a burst pipe sent water rushing into the basement where Third World Press (TWP) housed a major portion of its backlist and numerous bestsellers.

They estimate some 75% of its inventory, equating to thousands of books, was destroyed. Staff said the loss has been overwhelming and financially crippling.

“This is the first time this kind of tragedy has happened to Third World Press in its 55 years. It has hurt a great deal,” said Dr. Haki Madhubati, who founded the publisher in 1967.

Dr. Madhubati says TWP is the oldest independent, continuously operating Black publishing house in the nation. They’ve worked with renowned authors like Gwendolyn Brooks, Chancellor Williams, Useni Eugene Perkins, Angela Jackson and Adelaide Sanford.

“We had to throw out books that look like they can be sold, but they had been contaminated as a result of water and mold and so forth. It’s been very difficult,” said Madhubati.

Dr. Madhubati estimates the damage is “in the neighborhood of $250-300,000.”

Between holiday sales and end-of-year fundraising, December and early January make up a quarter of the publisher’s yearly revenue. Instead, they were closed for cleanup.

“We’re in the process now of trying to find monies but also reprinting books, especially books that are selling well for us so we can stay in business,” said Madhubati.

TWP has set up an online fundraiser to offset some of its losses. They hope the community they’ve served for decades will now step in to help when they need it the most.

“What we lost hurts a great deal, but [we are] committed,” said Madhubati. “Books represent that which is good in the world.

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